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What is this winmail.dat attachment??

Have you ever gotten an email that says an important document is attached only to find that the only attachment is something called winmail.dat?  This is an attachment sent from someone who is using
Microsoft Outlook as their email program and unfortunately, it is only relevant and used by Microsoft Outlook.  The technical reason for this is because the original sender is sending emails in Microsoft Outlook Rich Text Format instead of Plain Text format. 

So now that you know the technical aspect of it the question on everyone's mind is: "How do I read it?"  The answer to that question is a Thunderbird add-on called Lookout.  This add-on will "decode" the winmail.dat file into the attachments that you can read.  If you have a need for this add-on here are the steps to install it:

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Click on Add-ons
  4. Click on Get Add-ons
  5. In the "Search for add-ons" box enter lookout
  6. Click on the "Install" button
  7. Click on the "Accept and Install" button
  8. Click the "Restart Now" link
  9. Close the Add-ons Manager tab

Since this is an add-on within Thunderbird you will NOT need administrator rights to install it.



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